Sunday, August 24, 2008

A Super Garage Sale Buy

Sometime in the last 18 years since I moved to Salem, I purchased an Italian Atlas hand crank pasta maker for the phenomenal price of $5.00. Currently they range in price from $40-$100 according to my Internet search today. At the time I made this bargain buy, I had never even attempted making homemade pasta. I bought it on an impulse and thought it was something I couldn't pass up. I have used it many times since.
I have made linguini, spaghetti and lasagna noodles but something I have never attempted is ravioli and today was the day for that culinary challenge. It was certainly time consuming but a very satisfying experience. I started by making the pasta dough which consisted of 2 cups of flour and 3 eggs processed in the food processor until it came together in a ball. It rested for a few minutes after kneading until smooth. I then made the filling. The filling consisted of 1 cup of ricotta cheese, 2 eggs, salt and pepper to taste, 2 tablespoons of tomato puree and 2 tablespoons julienned fresh basil thoroughly mixed together. Once the filling was done, I rolled out the pasta sheets and set them on flour covered towels. I then took one sheet, placed it on my flour covered granite counter, put a teaspoon of filling approximately 1 1/2 inches apart, painted the dough sides and in between the filling with water than placed a second sheet on top. I pushed around the filling gently with my fingers to get out any air bubbles then around the sides to seal the two pieces of dough together. I tried at first to cut the ravioli with a biscuit cutter but I found it cut too close to the filling so I opted to use a knife to trim around the excess dough and then cut each ravioli to the size of approximately 2 inches by 2 inches. These precious pillows were then placed on a flour covered towel on a cookie sheet where they rested in the refrigerator until time to cook. They cooked in gently simmering water for approximately 10 minutes.

To dress the ravioli I made a tomato alfredo sauce consisting of heavy cream gently boiled until it coated the back of a spoon, added a couple of tablespoons of butter, a tablespoon of tomato puree and approximately 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese.

My assessment of this dish was just so-so. The ravioli filling was rather bland and there was just too much dough around the filling. From now on I will leave the stuffed pasta making to the pros. The sauce was pretty good though. You can't go wrong with cream, butter and parmesan cheese, now can you?

1 comment:

Precious Pillows said...

It looks yummy to me! I wish you would push around my filling gently with your fingers to get out my air bubbles. I too have too much dough aroung my filling!